OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

OCGOP Endorsements Committee Meets

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 5, 2012

As with yesterday, all Endorsements Committee recommendations must be ratified by the Central Committee on Monday, September 17.

Endorsements Committee Members Present:
Mark Bucher, Chair
Chandra Chell
Thomas Gordon
Ray Grangoff (arrives at 7:39 PM)
Matt Harper
Mary Young

Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3

6:17 PM – Steven Lang speaks of his family for a very long time.  He voted for Richard Nixon, and his favorite President is Ronald Reagan.  He believes in “equity and opportunity.”

Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2

6:19 PM – Jim Reardon speaks of his work running a private school.  He speaks of his activism in CUSD, including being listed on the old CUSD Superintendent Fleming’s Enemies list.  Reardon was endorsed by the OCGOP in 2010.  He opposed the recall of Ken Lopez Maddox and Mike Winsten.  He doesn’t think there’s much difference between a furlough day or a strike in terms of effects on students and parents.  He supports school choice, charter schools, and magnet schools.  He is endorsed by OCBE Trustee Robert Hammond.

Jennifer Beall speaks in favor of both Lang and Reardon as conservative pro-life, pro-marriage fiscally conservative Republicans.  She speaks of the poor fiscal state of the district under the pro-union CUSD trustees.  She says they will never be bought by the unions and are pro-Prop 32.

Committee Member Mary Young says there isn’t anyone who more thoroughly vets candidates than Jennifer Beall.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend both men for endorsements.

Huntington Beach City Council

6:24 PM – Erik Peterson speaks of his conservative beliefs and his desire to help Matt Harper and the other conservative councilmembers. He wants Huntington Beach to clean house and be a fiscal model for the state and country.  He’s served in the United States Marine Corps, with his church, as a scoutmaster for Boy Scouts, and on the Huntington Beach Finance Board and Planning Commission.

Committee Member Matt Harper speaks of being impressed with Peterson for the last two years and reiterates Peterson’s points.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Peterson for endorsement.

Measure FF (City of Orange)

6:27 PM – Elizabeth Spillane discusses how a developer wanted to build homes on land that the developer owned.  The plan was approved by a City Council vote of 4-1, with all four Republicans supporting the plan and Democrat Tita Smith opposing.  She noted that various environmental activists, including the Sierra Club, referended the plan.  She urges Yes on FF to gain parks and trails built at the developer’s expense and to protect private property rights.

Matt Cunningham notes that he is a longtime Orange resident and states that the developer has followed all the legal processes to build homes compatible with the local area while being “vilified by NIMBYs.”  He says private property rights are one of the most fundamental rights Americans have.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend an endorsement in favor of Measure FF.

Brea City Council

6:31 PM – Former Brea Councilman Steve Vargas speaks of his prior election to the council and how he lost by 410 votes to a liberal Democrat in the last election.  He warns that candidate Christine Marick is a liberal Democrat.  Vargas is running with Marty Simonoff, another Republican.  Vargas speaks of his own military service, including in Fallujah in a tour of duty in Iraq.  He says he is up against unscrupulous RINOs (Don Schweitzer and Ron Garcia) who endorsed Democrat Marick.

(7:47 PM – OC Political fact check: No Democrat serves on the Brea City Council.  DTS Brett Murdock beat Vargas by 410 votes in 2010.)

(8:32 AM – OC Political fact check: Marick is an NPP.)

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Vargas for endorsement.

The committee is now 25 minutes early despite starting 17 minutes late.

The committee has recessed, as there are now no candidates present.

Metropolitan Water District of Orange County, Division 7

6:54 PM – Running six minutes ahead of schedule, the committee has resumed, beginning with three-term incumbent Susan Hinman.  She describes the district, speaks of her record as a staffer for an unnamed Orange County Supervisor.  She speaks of her work on various water boards, including one that consolidated three agencies.  She speaks of groundwater supplies, sustainability, and efforts to maintain reliable water supplies.  She is endorsed by Supervisor Pat Bates, Senator Mimi Walters, Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, Ed Royce Sr., SOCCCD Trustee Nancy Padberg, Mayor Jim Evert, and Mayor Lara Anderson.

Alice Anderson speaks in favor of Hinman, touting her conservatism, her hard work, and her diligence.

MWDOC Division 1 Director Brett Barbre speaks in favor of Hinman, praising her record.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Hinman for endorsement.

Lake Forest City Council

7:01 PM – Dwight Robinson speaks of being a lifelong Republican who helped get Scott Voigts elected.  Voigts encouraged him to run for the Council. He’s endorsed by Assemblyman Don Wagner, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, and various unnamed City Council members and Central Committee members.  He feels the City has only given lip service to being pro-business.  He wants to make the city actually pro-business by cutting regulations that impede businesses.  He speaks of his own Republican activism since the 1990s.  He speaks of his family.  He wants to keep an $80-million sports park may run overbudget.  He states the council has no members with profits-and-losses experience.

Adam Nick speaks of his experience immigrating to the United States.  He speaks of his experience in growing business.  He complains of special interest and crony influence on the Lake Forest Council.  He feels city government should operate as a business.  He says he wants to work with Robinson to make the Council more business-friendly.

OC Political blogger Chris Emami speaks of the lack of transparency in Lake Forest and the Sizzler U.S. Flag controversy in Lake Forest.

An emissary for Committee Member Ray Grangoff says Grangoff would support Nick.

Tim Whitacre speaks in favor of Robinson as a “good American” with solid credentials and the backing of Scott Voigts.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher jokes he was leaning in favor of supporting endorsing Robinson but is reconsidering since Whitacre spoke.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend both for endorsement.

Fullerton City Council

7:08 PM – Emami says, “Get your popcorn ready.”

Jennifer Fitzgerald wants to do away with local elected official pay and benefits.  She wants principled, reasoned conservatism.  She speaks of her conservative activism in college, her work as a staffer for Republican elected officials, and her business experience. She says she is endorsed by Supervisor Shawn Nelson and the OC Taxpayers Association.

Barry Levinson says he is the only Republican candidate who actively worked to support the recall.  He was the highest vote-getter of the candidates who did not win running in the recall replacement election.  He says he is regularly at City Council meetings but has never seen Fitzgerald.  He speaks of his MBA and his business experience.  He says he understands numbers and can tackle the $1.2 billion unfunded liability in Fullerton from pensions, healthcare, and redevelopment.  He says he spearheaded Fullerton Ordinance 3149, Orange County’s first ordinance restricting sex offenders.  As a Parks & Recreation Commissioner, he helped get a skate park reopened at little cost to the city.  He wants small government to facilitate public needs not to grow government.

Councilman Greg Sebourn speaks in favor of Barry Levinson.  He states Fitzgerald did not support the recall and reiterates Levinson’s increasing vote totals.  He notes Levinson’s conservative voting record as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner and his well-formed opinions based on research in public comment during Council meetings.

Pat Shuff speaks in favor of Fitzgerald.  She says it is unfair to not endorse Fitzgerald based on her non-support of the recall.  Shuff says the majority opposed the recall (Nguyen note: that’s impossible, as the recall passed nearly 2-1).  She says the recall risked the election of a Democrat, which happened in the recall with the election of Doug Chaffee over Levinson.

Tim Whitacre speaks of Levinson’s activism in the recall.  Whitacre says Levinson had the toughest of three replacement recalls.  Whitacre says Fitzgerald is too close to Pat McKinley who gave money to Democrat Doug Chaffee who beat Levinson for a council seat in the recall.

MWDOC Director Brett Barbre speaks of working for Bill Dannemeyer.  He met Fitzgerald in 1995.  She was his children’s Sunday school teacher.  He says she understands Republican principles, politics, and issues.  He says she has given time to the Planning Commission.

Allan Bartlett states Levinson is endorsed by Bruce Whitaker.  (Nguyen note: I don’t believe that’s accurate.)

(7:33 PM – OC Political fact check: I have confirmed with Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker that he has only endorsed fellow Councilman Travis Kiger in this Fullerton Council race.  He has not endorsed either Fitzgerald or Levinson.)

Matt Cunningham notes Fitzgerald has helped Republican causes longer than many people in the room.  He notes Fitzgerald only spoke positively about herself while arguing Levinson and his supporters all attacked Fitzgerald.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks why Fitzgerald opposed the recall.

Fitzgerald says she opposed the recall because she had various unnamed issues with the recall.  She states she was unhappy with the incumbents’ behavior, so she says that’s why she did not actively work against the recall.

Levinson asks why she had anti-recall signs in her yard.

Fitzgerald doesn’t answer.

Committee Member Mary Young notes that she met Fitzgerald 19 years ago working for conservative causes.  Young says Fitzgerald’s long-term record of activism more than offsets her recent record of non-activism.  She compares the Fitzgerald vs. Levinson endorsement bid to the Santa Ana Franklin vs. Hart endorsement bid from last night without naming Franklin and Hart.

Committee Member Matt Harper says what Councilman Sebourn said is very important to his thought process and Levinson’s efforts to get to know Harper and other Republican officials.  He expresses his concern about Levinson attacking Fitzgerald and notes that he himself had only attended 1 City Council meeting before being elected.  Harper says he’s known Fitzgerald for well over a decade.  He states he will support Fitzgerald.

Young moves to recommend the endorsement of Fitzgerald, with Harper seconding.  The vote is 2-2 (Harper and Young in favor and Chell and Gordon opposed).  Bucher breaks the tie in favor of Fitzgerald.

Levinson shakes the hands of all the committee members.

The committee is now 30 minutes early and recesses.

Laguna Niguel City Council

7:48 PM – Laura Davies speaks of not changing but preserving Laguna Niguel. She says the city is fiscally sound and does not require business licenses. She wants to help the council preserve this. She is a member of the Laguna Niguel RWF. She is on a City Commission and her HOA board. She volunteers for her church and a senior center. She cites endorsements from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Senator Mimi Walters, Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, Supervisor Pat Bates, former Senator Marian Bergeson, all five Councilmembers, and the California Women’s Leadership Association.

Cindy Uhlenhoff of the Laguna Niguel RWF speaks of Davies as a conservative activist.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon says he has trouble reading her questionnaire answer about whether California should be a “shall issue” state. She says she loves shooting and is strongly in favor of 2nd Amendment rights, including “shall issue” status for California.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Davies for endorsement.

Mesa Consolidated Water District, Division 2

7:52 PM – Incumbent Jim Fisler speaks of his activism for Republicans since the 1990s.  He was endorsed by the OCGOP in his previous (and successful) election bid.  He speaks of his extensive experience in water districts and on LAFCO. He precinct walked for Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, who’s endorsed him. He’s endorsed by Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer, Councilman Gary Monahan, and Colin McCarthy.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Fisler for endorsement.

Anaheim City Council

7:56 PM – The committee does Anaheim 4 minutes early.

Brian Chuchua notes his previous endorsement by the OCGOP in 2010.  He speaks of his long term residency in Anaheim.  He complains that special interests control the Anaheim City Council, citing the TOT vote.  He says he will work well with Mayor Tom Tait.(Nguyen note: Tait has not endorsed Chuchua.)

Tim Whitacre speaks in favor of Chuchua, citing Chuchua’s activism in the unsuccessful effort to put a charter amendment on the ballot to prevent the TOT plan from ever being used again.  Whitacre states that Tait will endorse Chuchua (several murmurs in the audience about if Tait’s going to endorse Chuchua, why hasn’t he already done so?).

Lucille Kring, who has already been endorsed by the Central Committee in early endorsements, speaks for Chuchua and against Steve Chavez Lodge for the latter’s contributions to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and the allegations that Lodge committed police brutality.

8:01 PM – Steve Chavez Lodge arrives 1 minute late.  He introduces himself as Steven Albert Chavez Lodge, with a couple giggles from the audience.  He says he is a Reagan conservative with 5,000 arrests as a Santa Ana Police Officer.  He wants Anaheim to be pro-business.  He says the most important function of city government is public safety.  He says his experience will help stabilize Anaheim.

Allan Bartlett speaks against Lodge, repeating Kring’s comments that Lodge donated money to Loretta Sanchez and that Lodge may have committed police brutality.  Bartlett says, “it’s not conservative to give millions of dollars to a large corporation like Disney.”

Tim Whitacre says, “On behalf of Mayor Tom Tait, who previously endorsed Mr. Lodge, has unendorsed Mr. Lodge.”  He asks if Lodge has sought union support in violation of the non-union pledge in the OCGOP questionnaire.

Committee Member Chandra Chell asks if either candidate is endorsed by Curt Pringle.

Pringle endorsed Lodge but not Chuchua.

Lodge says he gave money to Sanchez because being in construction requires that he give a donation to Sanchez.  He apologizes and says he regrets it now.  Lodge says, “people get hurt when they fight” in reference to the allegations of police brutality.  He says he did not violate any police department policies.

Committee Member Mary Young asks if Chuchua gave money to a Democrat.

Chuchua gave money to Democrat John Santoianni running for Anaheim City School District who he called a personal friend.  Chuchua says he was curious about Santoianni.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks Lodge about defined benefit vs. defined contribution.

Lodge says pension reform is necessary to make the system solvent and that Governor Brown’s 12-point plan did not go far enough.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks Lodge if he is backed by any unions.

Lodge says he is endorsed by the Anaheim Police and Fire unions and the Santa Ana Police union but has not taken any money from them.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff expresses concern about Lodge’s ties to Jordan Brandman.

Lodge says while many people have endorsed both he and Brandman; he says he has no ties to Brandman and has never been to any events with Brandman.

Chuchua interjects that there’s pictures of Brandman and Lodge at events together.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher asks Lodge to further elaborate on pension reform.

Lodge says he feels more reforms are necessary.

Committee Member Mary Young expresses concern that both gave money to Democrats.  She says they both seem conservative.

Committee Member Chandra Chell says some people in the room support Chuchua while none support Lodge.

Chell moves to support the endorsement recommendation for Chuchua and Gordon seconds.

Chell expresses concern about Lodge’s endorsement by Pringle.

Committee Member Matt Harper says Anaheim is very complex and Kring was an easy call.  He wants to delay an endorsement vote, and gets agreement from Young and Grangoff.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff says both would do well.

Committee Member Mary Young says you can’t control who endorses you.  She says OCEA head Nick Berandino endorsed her against her will.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks who Lucille Kring would rather have as a colleague.

Kring says she’d “much prefer” Chuchua over Lodge because he “has a lot of baggage” and is backed by “special interests” and SOAR, Anaheim Chamber, Disney, and Pringle.  She blasts OCBC and OCTax as Pringle high-speed rail tools who are also backing Lodge.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher asks if Lodge supports high-speed rail.

Lodge thinks money should be spent on local transportation rather than high-speed rail.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher is “more troubled” by union support than the other members of the committee.

Committee Member Mary Young thinks if the police union didn’t back Lodge, it might be a sign he was a bad police officer.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher cites Assemblyman Allan Mansoor as an example of a former law enforcement officer who is opposed by police unions.

Kring interjects that police unions could still do independent expenditures.

The vote was 3-3 for Chuchua (Bucher, Chell, and Gordon in favor with Grangoff, Harper, and Young against).

The committee vote fails.

Buena Park City Council

8:24 PM – Baron Night says he’s been registered as a Republican since he was eligible to vote.  He’s never voted for a Democrat, given one money, nor volunteered for one.  He says he’s a conservative on every issue and has been on the Central Committee for a number of years.

Allan Bartlett says he loves Baron’s limericks.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks about Night’s position on the Costa Mesa charter.

Night says he’s in favor.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks about Night’s position of opposition on the Buena Park charter citing Night’s statement, “If isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Night claims he didn’t like the way it was written, not the charter itself.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon says Buena Park is broke.

Night says Buena Park has $12,000,000 in reserves.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Night for endorsement.

Santa Ana Unified School District

8:29 PM – Ceci Iglesias speaks of growing up in Santa Ana and her educational background.  She wants to bring a conservative voice to the Santa Ana Unified School District board.  She says she has a child in SAUSD schools.  She opposes SB 48.  She supports a back-to-basics and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.  She notes she is an immigrant from El Salvador and believes it is important to have English as a Second Language programs for students who don’t speak English.  She started a non-profit to teach deaf children.

Santa Ana resident Charles Hart speaks in favor of Iglesias and speaks of Reagan’s 80/20 ratio.  He says everyone in the room agrees with 80% of what Iglesias stands for and likely more.  He says Santa Ana needs more Republicans.

Fullerton resident Pat Shuff says she is in favor of bilingual education and the DREAM Act.  Shuff claims Igleisas has only been a Republican for two months.  Iglesias says she has been a Republican for eight years but briefly left the GOP.

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Robert Hammond, a Santa Ana resident, says Iglesias opposes the DREAM Act.  He notes he’s never seen Shuff in Santa Ana.  He says she has helped register lots of new Republicans, including persuading many Democrats over.  He says Iglesias supports ESL programs, not bilingual education.  He says she opposes SB 48 and is opposed to the teachers’ union.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks why she left the GOP.

Iglesias says she ran as an independent for Congress because a number of Republicans opposed her for being too conservative.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff expresses concern that she ran against Tran and Sanchez because conservatives united behind Tran.

Iglesias says she didn’t understand the dynamics of the party establishment.

Committee Member Mary Young urges her to consider English immersion and welcomes her into the Republican Party.

Iglesias says she supports immersion with ESL support.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks about the party affiliations of the candidates in the race.

Iglesias says three Democrat and three Republicans are running for three seats.  She says she is the most conservative candidate.

Committee Member Chandra Chell says regardless of Iglesias’s registration, Chell has seen Iglesias working for conservative candidates, even candidates who were endorsed by Republicans but without any money (like Hugh Nguyen’s bid against Tom Daly).

Committee Member Mary Young notes that Ronald Reagan was a Democrat and that Iglesias should be welcomed.

Committee Member Matt Harper notes that there’s only three Republicans for three seats and that she’s the only one seeking the endorsement.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon notes Iglesias’s opponents have massive financial campaign assistance from Planned Parenthood and that Iglesias is very pro-life.  He cites Iglesias’s efforts to gain new Republicans.  Gordon tells a story about how a Santa Ana resident screamed “Republicano” and ran like Republicans were the chupacabra.

The committee votes unanimously to recommend Iglesias for endorsement.

Orange County Water District, Division 3

8:48 PM – Incumbent Roger Yoh speaks of his conservative record on the water district.  He fought to maintain the defined contribution retirement plan when the OCWD general manager tried to insert a defined benefit plan.  He notes his family legally immigrated to the United States in 1982.  He supports the death penalty and specifically praises the efficiency of China’s death penalty.

The committee votes quickly and unanimously to recommend Yoh for endorsement.

Mission Viejo City Council

8:51 PM – Mission Viejo begins, with four candidates for two slots.

Ed Sachs says he would like to support Ceci Iglesias.  Sachs says he’s endorsed by Tom Del Beccarro.  He wants to make Orange County even more Republican.  He says he was veterans chair for Carly Fiorina and speaks of various other Republican activist activities.

Wendy Bucknum says she is represented by every Supervisor, Congressman, and state legislator who currently represents Mission Viejo or will represent Mission Viejo.  She speaks of volunteering for Republican candidates and registering Republican voters and young people.  She changed Dave Leckness into a Republican.  She says she is pro-business, pro-public safety, and pro-youth programs.

Incumbent Cathy Schlicht says she walked precincts for Dana Rohrabacher and Allan Mansoor.  She says she is active in the Saddleback Republican Assembly.  She has registered Republican voters.  She states she has pushed the Mission Viejo City Coumcil to have more competitive bidding.  She supports Prop 32.  She has opposed all fee increases based on administrative costs; she prefers to cut those costs.  She says she has been active in Mission Viejo during its entire history.  She works in the construction industry.  District Attorney Tony Rackacukas, OCBE Trustee Ken Williams, Assemblyman Don Wagner, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, Assemblyman Chris Norby, and Lake Forest Mayor Kathryn McCullough (a Democrat), and numerous other people I didn’t catch.

Incumbent Frank Ury blamed his Hungarian parents for his initials.  He is a founding board member of ACC-OC.  He cites his conservative voting record on the City Council.  He used budget surpluses to create fee holidays where fees were temporarily suspended for six months to assist businesses and residents.  OCBC, Congressman Ed Royce, Congressman Gary Miller, Senator Mimi Walters, and Assemblyman Jeff Miller have endorsed Ury.

Steve Sarkis speaks in favor of Cathy Schlicht, citing her conservative voting record, including on sex offenders, taxes, and public safety.

Chris Emami speaks in “slight opposition” to Schlicht, citing her voting record.  Specifically, he cited when Schlict filed suit on a city ballot measure where Schlict sought attorney’s fees from the city, and the council voted on her request.

Larry Gilbert speaks in favor of Schlicht, citing her longtime volunteerism for Republicans.  Gilbert speaks on the suit’s merits but did not speak about the attorney’s fees.

Tim Whitacre speaks in favor of Sachs, citing him as “new old blood” on the basis of his life experience and his fresh perspective in politics.  He cites Sachs’s service in the United States Navy.

Shirley Morgan speaks in favor of Wendy Bucknum.  Morgan was Laguna Woods RWF President for ten years and spoke of Bucknum’s assistance to the Laguna Woods RWF.  Morgan praises Bucknum’s people skills with seniors and youth.

Matt Corrigan, former President of the Saddleback Republican Assembly, states Bucknum supported union-backed Democrat Dave Leckness (and shows pictures demonstrating this) and Bucknum opposed the candidates endorsed by the OCGOP.  He says she even attacked the OCGOP-endorsed candidates in numerous voter communications.

Joe Holtzman speaks of Prop 32 and how Bucknum is depending on special interest money.  He questions “her moral compass.”  He says she did nothing during a swim team scandal.  He speaks of her questionable fiscal stances.

Larry Gilbert speaks of Ury’s support of Leckness.  Gilbert says Supervisor Shawn Nelson opposed the watering down of the Mission Viejo City Manager’s contract termination clauses, and that Ury then voted to water down the clauses.

Joe Holtzman says Ury has been forced to rewrite ballot statements due to violating the law.  He also says Ury has caused numerous legal expenses for the city.  He says Ury tried to undermine the school board and public education when Ury was a school board member.

In response to Emami’s “slight” allegation, Schlicht only sought $70 in attorney’s fees in order to get attention to the fact that she, and not Ury, had won in the lawsuit demanding language be changed on the ballot measure because she said the City Attorney was incorrectly spinning that Ury and the City had prevailed over Schlicht.

In response to Corrigan and Holtzman’s allegations, Bucknum had a “No on [Lance MacLean] Recall” sign because she felt the term expired in six months.  She says apparently the sign was paid for by the union.  She says she opposes smear campaigns like the one she’s suffered tonight.

In response to Gilbert and Holtzman’s allegations, Ury cites his efforts to pass school vouchers while a school board member.  He says he won awards from the OCGOP and CA GOP for the effort.  He says the unions spent enormous sums to remove him from the school board.  He says if that’s undermining public education, he’s guilty as charged.  He believes property rights are paramount, and he fought to battle ballot box zoning (in reference to Schlicht’s lawsuit).

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks if Ury voted to prevent citizens from pulling consent calendar items.

Ury feels council members should pull consent calendar items because there are some citizens who try to pull all consent items.  He notes the city has never turned down serious citizen requests to pull a consent item.

Committee Member Thomas Gordon asks if Ury voted to bestow lifetime medical benefits on part-time council members.

Ury gives a lengthy complex explanation arguing that it’s only irrevocable if a councilmember signs a document that they’re forever waiving lifetime medical benefits because a council could reverse a vote in the future.  He says his vote was to rescind an illegal vote.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks if the Republican Party took a position on the recall of Lance MacLean.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks people’s positions on the Mission Viejo ballot box zoning measure.

Sachs couldn’t recall.

Schlicht said she supported the measure to protect the private property rights of local residents, open space, and parks to prevent a state mandate for high-density housing.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks Schlicht if it’s like Newport Beach’s Greenlight initiative.

She says yes.

Committee Member Matt Harper asks Schlicht points out it doesn’t protect the property rights of the landowner.

She supports the measure because it harms the property values of the neighbors, thereby harming their property values.

Bucknum opposed the measure.

Ury opposed the measure.  He said the Schlicht lawsuit only changed two minor words.  Ury’s side prevailed 70%-30%.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff asks how Sachs would vote on the measure today if he saw it now.

Sachs says he would have voted the way Schlicht did.

Committee Member Matt Harper asked who was endorsed by Senator Mimi Walters and Assemblywoman Diane Harkey.

Walters and Harkey endorsed Ury and Bucknum.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff supports Ury for holding to conservative Republican values.

Committee Member Mary Young says she knows all four as good conservatives.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher says he first met Ury when Ury was running for school board.  He wrote the first paycheck protection measure with Ury.  Bucher notes that when someone backs a Democrat, it’s a good thing when that Democrat is converted to Republican.  While there are minor Ury voting issues, nothing of a serious issue has arisen.

The committee votes to recommend Ury for endorsement 4-2 (Chell and Gordon dissenting).

Committee Member Mary Young is excited that conservative Democrat Dave Leckness became a conservative Republican.

Committee Member Ray Grangoff believes the Republican Party must make a stand in favor of private property rights.

Committee Member Matt Harper believes private property rights is one of the most important issues City Councils have jurisdiction over.  He is thrilled there is this much battle among Republicans because the city is so heavily Republican.

The committee votes to recommend Bucknum for endorsement 4-2 (Chell and Gordon dissenting).

Apparently, Emami’s “slight opposition” can change the direction of an endorsements meeting.

Rancho Santa Margarita City Council

9:45 PM – Appointed incumbent Carol Gamble speaks of her prior Council electoral history and her reappointment after she returned to California.  She urged that Tony Beall replace her when she left the Council to take care of her dying parent.  After she returned, and after another Councilmember resigned, she was reappointed to the Council.  She helped lead the cityhood movement in Rancho Santa Margarita and was elected to its inaugural City Council, serving until she left California.  She owns a consulting and engineering firm based in Rancho Santa Margarita for 17 years.  She says she is a major proponent of private property rights.

Committee Chair Mark Bucher notes that Tony Beall is the only thing standing in the way of the committee members going home.

Beall gives one sentence in support of Gamble.  He speaks one sentence stating he supports Brad McGirr, who cannot make it because he is at a Rancho Santa Margarita Planning Commission meeting.

The committee quickly and unanimously vote to recommend the endorsement of both Gamble and McGirr.

The Endorsements Committee adjourns at 9:52 PM, a stunning 8 minutes early.

18 Responses to “OCGOP Endorsements Committee Meets”

  1. thinkoc said

    What is the penalty for lying to the Central Committee during endorsement interviews?

    • There’s no official one. I do recall a couple times where endorsements were yanked after lies were discovered after the fact. However, those were much more clear-cut lies from the candidates than anything that happened last night. It’s quite reasonable that what are believed to be lies from last night may have been honest mistakes. And it’s not certain what happens if the questionable statements came from candidates’ supporters, not the candidates (in many cases, these supporters pop up out of the blue to the surprise of the candidates). More info is needed from these candidates.

      • Joe Holtzman said

        As you can see from Mr. Gilbert’s details Frank Ury did lie on the Measure D issue. I also attended the same multiple day trial and will attest to Mr. Gilbert’s summary being spot on.

        As to Mr Ury’s happy dance on benefits–his letters were all Ex-Poc -Facto ( after the fact ) when he decided to cover himself. As John Paul Ladesma,, former MV Council member stated at a council meeting, ” I just do not trust Frank Ury.

        As to my questioning Wendy’s moral compass, just wht didn’t she resign from the Nadadores–like that organizations president and 31 others did over the sex (alledged) exploitation by a coach of a 16 year old ?

      • larrygilbert said

        Chris .What MV Mayor Frank Ury told the endorsing committee members at the 9-5 meeting was NOT an honest mistake. We have the court transcript that you can surely access. The Judge only changed “two minor words” is one big whopper of a tale. I expect that his name will be pulled for debate at the Sept. 17th meeting. I will surely be there and will bring relevant pages from the court transcript.

  2. Allan Bartlett said

    Bruce Whitaker told me he supports Barry Levinson. I assumed that means he endorsed him as well. Maybe my understanding of the English language is bad.

  3. […] OCGOP Endorsements Committee Meets […]

  4. Chris (Nguyen). This is Larry Gilbert. You sat across the aisle from me last night. May I offer the following information on the Mission Viejo Measure D lawsuit to correct some misinformation stated by Frank Ury where you quote his saying that the Measure D lawsuit only changed “two minor words.” Those who know me can verify that I go out of my way to be as accurate as possible as I follow the words of Ronald Reagan. “Trust, but verify” applies here. I sat in that trial and can therefore give a first hand account of what was presented and the judge’s ruling. You write quoting Frank Ury that the Schlicht lawsuit only changed two minor words.” Here’s an eyewitness account that is backed up by court documents: “Prior to filing a court petition, Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht asked the City Clerk to challenge Ury’s statement, which had been submitted on March 1. City Clerk Karen Hamman is the City’s election official. Hamman and City Attorney Bill Curley declined to seek any remedy, so Schlicht filed a public interest lawsuit petitioning the Court to instruct Hamman and OC Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley to remove any false or misleading language before printing and distributing official election materials.

    The Court conducted a day-long trial on Monday. On Thursday, April 1, Judge Luis Rodriguez signed an Order granting Schlicht’s petition. The Superior Court Clerk then certified a Writ of Mandate commanding the Mission Viejo Clerk and OC Registrar to delete specified language.

    Challenges to ballot statements face a high hurdle because case law permits hyperbole as expected discourse in the “rough and tumble” political arena. In addition courts have held that personal opinion, even false opinion, is permissible in ballot statements. Furthermore, these cases require “clear and convincing proof” from the petitioner that statements are ”false, misleading or inconsistent with the election code.” That is a higher burden than in normal civil cases, which only require a preponderance of proof. These factors appeared to make the judgment in favor of Schlicht very significant.

    The Judge struck a statement by Ury which would have told voters that state law prevented housing from ever being constructed on the Casta del Sol Golf Course. Schlicht argued no such state law existed, alleging a portion of the golf course was not in a flood control channel nor in the dam inundation area below Upper Oso Reservoir and Lake Mission Viejo.

    Judge Rodriguez also found the Councilman false or misleading when Ury stated businesses wishing to expand would have to go to a full vote of the people at their own expense under Measure D. Strike number three against Ury came when the court found it false or misleading to say taxpayers would be “forced” to pay for any subsidized housing approved for Mission Viejo.”

    I would say that Frank Ury lied to the endorsing committee last night. Housing COULD be built on the Casta del Sol golf course property. His Ballot language was to win support from adjacent property owners who in many cases paid a premium to have homes facing the golf course. Sadly the chair refused to grant Cathy an opportunity to elaborate on this issue.

    Backing up to your coverage of Ed Sachs. You twice missed any reference to his being endorsed by Rep Darrell Issa. I attended that fundraiser at the Mission Viejo Country Club last week and did the invocation. He pointed it out and Tim Whitaker reiterated that Issa endorsement and said if Ed is good enough for Rep. Issa, he should be good enough for the endorsing committee.

    In my quoting from an email received from Attorney Shawn Nelson that related to removing valid uncompensated causes of termination of our city manager as orchestrated by Frank Ury on the night before the successful recall of Lance MacLean, Shawn questioned our providing a renegotiation without getting anything in return. No one bothered to follow up with Frank on that Contract Amendment challenge.

    As to Dave Leckness changing his party registration. I handed every member a package of documents including the ROV page clearly reporting his being a registered Democrat. The fact that he may have later changed party registration while accepting over $6,000 of union funds and actively campaigning against three GOP endorsed candidates should not be ignored. I handed photos of Frank Ury standing on a major Mission Viejo intersection holding a yard sing in support of Dave as well as a Leckness flyer that lists an endorsement of this Democrat from Frank Ury when he was still a registered Democrat. Yes, we do get excited every time we convert someone to the GOP. But let’s not overlook the time line.

    And for Wendy, who claims to be a solid republican, to admit placing a union sign and that of a Democrat in her lawn while supporting a member of our council simply; because she didn’t agree with the recall is no excuse. You can disagree with the recall without taking that step. I doubt if pro recall Republicans in Fullerton placed union funded signs at their homes.

    And lastly Frank’s questionable answer to his vote to continue having access to lifetime health care if he is re-elected in Nov. He said the funds will be given to the Friends of the Mission Viejo library. At one time our city treasurer stated the future taxpayer investment for Frank, Trish and, at the time Lance MacLean, would represent $250,000 each. Frank’s offer to turn over taxpayer money to our library is no different than Prop 32. Mission Viejo taxpayers do not want our money be given to the library as a gift from Frank Ury. And when would that occur? While I support the vetting process, and as president of the Saddleback Republican Assembly led that activity, as well as conducting candidate interviews, it would be helpful if you had the full story. Larry Gilbert email lgpwr@aol.com

    • Larry Gilbert's Long Lost Mind said

      Wow. A ton of blather from Larry Gilbert that still fails to disguise that he and his puppet Cathy Schlicht supported and continue to support a ballot-box zoning initiative that is anti-property rights.

      Larry was also mixed up with that gang that was illegally paying circulators under the table while gatehring signatures for the MacLean recall, althoughg Larry made himself very scarce when the legal consequences hit the fan). He backed that Dale Tyler go who had been evading the VLF tax for years by registering his cars out of state (the rest of us were happy to pick up your share, Dale).

      You don\’t even let people join your SRA cult unless they are loyal to your approved list of activists.

      And what exactly is wrong with using $250K in city funds for the city library? And how do you know \”Mission Viejo taxpayers\” don\’t want that. Are you psychic? Did you read every MV residents mind or something?

      Your phoney-baloney indignation and double-standards are getting old, Larry. Once the crack-pots are washed out of the Central Committee in January, whatever inexplicable inluence you do have over the endorsement process will evaporate.

    • larrygilbert said

      Minor Gilbert error. I doubt if “anti” recall Republicans in Fullerton placed union funded signs at their homes.

  5. larrygilbert said

    While I gladly voted for the recall of Mayor Lance MacLean, who among his many shortcomings fought off four policemen at a UCI event, you are too kind. That’s only one illustration of why he was removed . Let the record show that as both president of the SRA and personally contributed to his winning campaign in 2002 and still have his thank you note for that support. What you don’t know is that Lance fought his council peers in trying to give $2.1 million to an auto dealership in our city. We were fortunate to have enough conservatives to fight him off and reduced that unjustified corporate welfare to $600,000. My only role in the successful recall was signing the Petition and recommending the RECALL to everyone on my MV mail list. Thank you but I cannot take credit for something accomplished by other commmunity watchdogs in our city. I did not engage in collecting any of the initiative signatures referenced above and would testify to this statement accordingly. You are so out of touch I have to laugh. With everything on my plate I have not been a member of the SRA for the past several years. Care to create any more imaginary stories of my activism?

    Ask the new city Librarien if I didn’t advise her on how to approach funding the recent renovation. You are shifting gears without stepping on the clutch. Sorry. You might be too young to know what a clutch is. We’re fighting to get Prop 32 approved this November yet you feel its OK for Frank Ury to tie up $250,000, more or less, of taxpayer funds for his own health care based on 12 years of part-time community service? Frank’s leaving it to the Friends of the Library comment was an attempt to skirt the real issue. Apparently you have taken the bait.

  6. larrygilbert said

    As several members and attendees of yesterday’s GOP Endorsing Committee questioned the background of Mission Viejo’s Measure D let me share part of my post when writing for the Orange Juice blog: April 2, 2010

    Superior Court Judge rejects Ury’s MV Meas D ballot argument text

    Larry Gilbert posted this in Fresh Juice on April 2nd, 2010

    My self imposed gag order can now be lifted. For the past two Monday’s Joe Holtzman and myself were in courtroom C-27 on the 8th floor of the Orange County Superior Court in support of Mission Viejo Council member Cathy Schlicht.

    This trial could have been avoided by Mission Viejo’s City Clerk Karen Hamman who responded to council member Schlicht that she found nothing wrong in Cathy’s challenge to Frank Ury’s (Measure D) ballot statement.
    Note: “The Right to Vote initiative,” Measure D, will appear on the June 8th ballot.

    Cathy filed a Writ of Mandate against “Karen Hamman, in her official capacity as City Clerk of the City of Mission Viejo and Neal Kelley, in his official capacity as Orange County Registrar of Voters along with Frank Ury, City Council Member of the City of Mission Viejo as a Real Party in Interest.”

    Letter from our City Clerk Karen Hamman to council member Schlicht.

    “Pursuant to my duties as the city’s Election Official, I have conducted an independent review of both Arguments for the Mission Viejo ‘Right to Vote Initiative.” I have also reviewed the information you provided in your letter dated March 5, 2010 and your email on March 8, 2010.

    I did not conclude that there are statutory grounds for a challenge of the Argument Against the Measure and therefore I will not seek a writ of mandate to require amendments to the ballot argument.” Source. March 8, 2010 letter from City Clerk Karen Hamman to Cathy Schlicht.

    City staff bias? When campaigning for our city council two years ago Cathy’s ballot designation as “Independent Business Woman” was challenged by Lance MacLean resulting in the City Clerk filing a Writ of Mandate on Aug 21, 2008 along with issuing a press release of said action. Rather than fight Cathy modified her designation.
    In this court case the city has not said a word to anyone. That may explain why no reporter representing the Register was in court or in contact with Cathy about the case.

    The bar is set very high in that the burden of proof rests totally on the Petitioner who must provide “clear and convincing proof.” Even city documents were challenged by the defendant’s attorney as hearsay. Judge Rodriguez referred to the word hyperbole, in permitting some of Franks inflamatory text to remain. Hyperbole–”exaggeration for effect, not to be taken literally.”

    Apparently Mr. Ury decided to go it alone and not share his proposed text with his peers on the city council before it’s submission. Did our mayor even ask to see a draft before it was submitted? His anger is now going to cost Mission Viejo taxpayers thousands of dollars for the time and effort of two RW&G trial attorney’s as well as their pre trial research in challenging Ms. Schlicht’s Causes of Action that could have been avoided.

    The RW&G attorney even challenged council member Schlicht’s ability as a standing petitioner. Petitioner attorney Brad Morton introduced supporting evidence from RW&G’s Bill Curley our City attorney to Ms. Schlicht stating that anyone can file.

    At one point in the trial RW&G attorney David G. Alderson called Frank’s use of inflammatory words ad hominem political rhetoric.
    Judge Luis A. Rodriguez agreed with Cathy on some of the false and misleading ballot statement words of Mr. Ury and ruled that they be deleted.

    Noon today was the deadline for submission of the final text to the ROV. Judge Rodriguez’s revisions have now been incorporated into the argument.

    DELETED by Judge Rodriguez (from the original text. Reference to the Casta Del Sol golf course.)
    “Under state law, it CAN NEVER be developed with housing. EVER!”

    Also DELETED “Businesses wishing to expand their facilities would have to go to a full vote of the people at their own expense.”

  7. Save Us From These Goons said

    OMG. Larry and his creatures are too much. Haven’t you guys ever heard of hyperbole? If you ran into someone you hadn’t seen in a long time and they exclaimed, “Man, I haven’t seen you in a million years!”, would you say, “Liar! Liar! It hasn’t been a million years!”

    I think what Ury meant was the judge hardly changed anything.

    You and Holtzman (run anyone down with your car lately?) are just nasty, vicious crackpots.

    • larrygilbert said

      Save us. Your words: “The judge hardly changed anything!” Have you read the court transcript? Once you do you might have a different response to this blog post. It’s really unfair in that I was in that courtroom with a few other MV watchdogs and Cathy’s attorney throughout the trial as well as obtaining a copy of the Transcript. Neither Frank Ury nor any member of our city staff attended. If you want examples of nasity simply watch Frank Ury’s conduct in our city council meetings.

  8. […] principles and his list of endorsements (see Chris Nguyen’s extensive coverage here: https://ocpolitical.com/2012/09/05/ocgop-endorsements-committee-meets/).  Endorsement Committee member Thomas Gordon asked Ury whether he had voted to bestow lifetime […]

  9. […] met on September 4-5 to make recommendations for endorsement.  (You can get the recaps here and here.  The consent calendar was here.)  Today is the real fun as the Central Committee meets to accept […]

  10. […] the endorsement procedures and goes over the list.  (Here’s the list again.  Here and here are the live blogs of those meetings.) Share […]

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